Bacterial meningitis in infants and children in southern Taiwan: Emphasis on Haemophilus influenzae type B infection

C. C. Liu, J. S. Chen, C. H. Lin, Y. J. Chen, C. C. Huang

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31 Citations (Scopus)


During a four-year-period from November 1988 to October 1992, 41 cases of bacterial meningitis with a positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture and/or CSF antigen test were collected at the National Cheng Kung University Hospital. The ages of the subjects ranged from 32 days to 13 years, with a median of seven months. The male to female ratio was 2.4:1. The most common causative agent was Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib, 29.3%), followed by group B β-hemolytic streptococci (GBS, 24.4%), Streptococcus pneumoniae (22.0%), Escherichia coli (4.9%), Neisseria meningitidis (4.9%), Salmonella species (4.9%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (4.9%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (2.6%), and viridans streptococci (2.6%). The onset of GBS meningitis was always prior to four months of age. Of the 41 cases studied, 27 (65.9%) were aged from two months to five years; 12 (44.4%) of these had meningitis caused by Hib. Most of the cases (90.2%) had a fever as the first clinical manifestation. Ampicillin combined with a third-generation cephalosporin was effective against most of the causative pathogens. The most frequently encountered short-term sequelae were seizures (64.7%), subdural effusion (55.9%) and ventriculomegaly (44.1%). Observations on long-term sequelae are ongoing. While the case-fatality rate was as high as 33.3% in S. pneumoniae, and 25% in Hib-infected patients, the overall mortality rate was 17.1%. There is a need for greater emphasis on prevention through the use of available vaccines, including the newly introduced conjugate vaccines against Hib which are capable of eliciting immune responses in infants as young as two months.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884-888
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • bacterial meningitis
  • dexamethasone
  • immunization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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